Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Live blogging the Senate floor session - Tuesday, March 8, 2011

4:11 p.m. - I'm out of here.  Time to get ready of tonight's LD17 meeting...

4:10 p.m. - Fails 12 - 18.  Yes!!

4:08 p.m. - Pearce says feds should just run the state.  Complains about judges, Congress, and the President overstepping their authority.  His way of saying that they do things that he doesn't approve of.

4:07 p.m. - Russell Pearce's turn.  Now he's saying that the feds are attacking free speech.  What about the blacklist?

4:06 p.m. - Gould is now spouting off about the Civil War.  What a shock.

4:05 p.m. - Now Sylvia Allen is keeping the vote open with her speech.  OK, now it's Ron Gould's turn.

3:57 p.m. - Now Rs Gray, Reagan, and Nelson have voted no.  Rick Murphy is speaking, urging the "no" votes to switch sides.

3:48 p.m. - Reconsidering SB1433, nullification of federal laws and regulations.  All Ds opposed, as are Rs Driggs, Crandall, McComish, Pierce (Steve), Yarbrough, Barto.  Vote still going on, but failing right now.

3:47 p.m. - SB1402 passes on party lines, Pearce claiming that the tea party isn't a political party.

3:42 p.m. - SB1402, creating a slew of new special license plates, including one to funnel money to Tea Party causes.  Sinema mentions that all other special plates are for charitable purposes, not political.

My question is:  why do we need even more special plates?  Just a couple of years ago, a new law was passed mandating a specific type of plate holder because all of them have "Arizona" in the same place, and the police in Arizona can no longer keep recognize Arizona's license plates.

3:40 p.m. - Now considering SB1363, protecting employers from labor actions.  Passing along party lines, all Rs in favor.

3:34 p.m. - Banning public employees from lobbying during work hours.  Targets teachers.  Passes on a party line vote.  If they could, the Rs would vote for this one twice.

3:19 p.m. - Senate passing SB1188, mandating a preference for married couples when placing children for adoption.  Single people will have to jump through some serious hoops, and same sex couples need not apply.

US flag, in shadow

Arizona flag brightly lit (not a great pic, sorry)

3:08 p.m. - The gentleman sitting next to me just noticed that the US flag on the floor of the Senate, one that we all stood and pledge allegiance to earlier, is in shadow, while the Arizona flag is brightly lit.

3:04 p.m. - Passing a postcard commemorating the friendship between the country of Turkey and the Arizona State Senate.  Steve Smith wondering why Democrats haven't objected to this the way that they objected to a resolution last week supporting Republican Scott Walker of WI in his quest to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights.  What an ass.

2:51 p.m. - Back in regular session. 

2:47 p.m. - Gallardo floor amendment passes, conditioned on his support of the underlying bill.  Bill passes COW.

2:44 p.m. - SCR1028, barring payroll deductions for political purposes.  Aimed at teachers and unions.  Gallardo proposed amendment would add corps to list of groups who cannot payroll deduct without annual permission.

2:42 p.m. - SCR1016, constitutional convention for federal debt, passed without anybody rising to debate.

2:35 - Third Schapira amendment defeated.  He pointed out that the current STO program is basically a student loan program, with the taxpayers repaying the loan.

2:30 p.m. - Schapira points out that his amendment's language is exactly the same as is in statute for corporate contributions to STOs.  Amendment defeated.

2:28 p.m. - Schapira amendment #2, restoring language that would bring the STO program back to being for financial need.  Rs opposed, naturally.  Murphy says that people with high incomes might still have "financial need" and that Schapira's amendment is only about income level.

2:26 p.m. - Schapira amendment #1 goes down, voice vote.

2:24 p.m. - Reps killed an amendment by one of their own, Linda Gray.  Onto a Schapira amendment.

2:16 p.m. - Rick Murphy stated that Schapira's objections and remarks are filled with "inaccuracies"; Schapira points out that Murphy's rebuttal itself is inaccurate.

2:10 p.m. - STOs fraught with "fraud and abuse." - Schapira

2:05 p.m. - Considering SB1312, expanding the school tuition tax credits for money given to STOs.  Schapira sinking his teeth into this one.

1:59 p.m. - Scott Bundgaard introduces guests, moves to go into COW.  Oh yeah - Bundgaard is still Senate Majority leader.  Al Melvin taking over as chair of COW session.

1:57 p.m. - First and Second Reading of bills.  I can't understand what the reader is saying, but I'm pretty sure no one else can - he's got a future as an auctioneer. :)

1:52 p.m. - David Schapira politely asks that any future rule changes are communicated directly to the members.  Apparently they found out about the new press rules 2nd and 3rd hand.  Oops.

1:50 p.m. - Pearce responding.  Declaring that no one other than members can be on the floor without permission, and the new policy is a response to "member concerns" that they don't have any privacy at their desks.  Call this the "Bundgaard is sick of answering questions" policy?

Pearce objecting to "misstatements," saying that there aren't any restrictions on the public.  That press conferences are for the press, but pep rallies for the public should be outside.

1:48 p.m. - Russell Pearce ignored the question.  Linda Gray making a comment.

1:47 p.m. - It's a long question. :)

1:45 p.m. - Steve Gallardo questioning changes to media policy, restricting them to a specific part of the floor.

1:45 p.m. - More guest introductions.

1:44 - John McComish announcing that tomorrow is "Coke Day" at the Capitol.

1:43 p.m. - Kyrsten Sinema introducing a student from Duke U., who is shadowing her.

1:42 p.m. - All present.

1:40 p.m. - In session.

1:37 p.m. - Running a little late, but the floor session is about to start.  Most of the senators are here though.

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